In an awesome exchange, an Associated Press reporter asked why the Obama White House lives in a fantasy land.
MATT LEE: Every time this happens, we hear from people in this administration and other governments as well that we will not accept North Korea as a nuclear armed state. And, yet it is,” The AP’s Matt Lee said. “You also say this about other things too. You say you will never accept Crimea as a part of Russia. And, yet it is. Isn’t it time to recognize these things for what they are and not live in this illusion or fantasy where you pretend that things are, are not?”
MR KIRBY: The short answer is no.
MR KIRBY: But I would challenge —
LEE: It’s preferable to live in a fantasy world?
MR KIRBY: I would challenge this idea that it’s a fantasy world. Just because – let me put it this way. At this level of foreign policy, you have to make choices. And you don’t have to accept everything —
LEE: You have to accept reality, though.
MR KIRBY: — even at face value. No, you – we are not going to accept North Korea as a nuclear-armed state, and we’re not going to recognize that. We are, however, going to deal with their efforts —
LEE: The fact that they are a nuclear-armed state.
MR KIRBY: — their efforts at developing that program.
LEE: Okay. Do you understand my confusion? I know this – I think it’s illogical to say that you’re not going to recognize them as a nuclear-armed state when, in fact, they are and you are operating in a way —
MR KIRBY: We are certain —
LEE: — to make them not a nuclear-armed state —
MR KIRBY: There’s a difference between —
LEE: — something that you say you don’t recognize.
MR KIRBY: There is a difference between dealing with what we know they’re developing and what we know they’re doing, and officially accepting or recognizing it.
Here’s the fantastic exchange:
Robert Gehl is a college professor in Phoenix, Arizona. He has over 15 years journalism experience, including two Associated Press awards. He lives in Glendale with his wife and two young children.